Inglis graduate Better Life capped off a tremendous racing career at Kranji on Sunday with a Group 1 victory in the Singapore Derby (2000m).
Better Life (4m Smarty Jones – Quiet Life by Sunday Silence) was a clear favourite with punters to claim Singapore’s most prestigious domestic event and she did not disappoint, racing away to a strong victory over Wild Geese and Tropaios.
“I wasn’t too concerned about her going into the Derby without any prep runs since the SIA Cup in May,” trainer Hideyuki Takaoka said. “We’ve done everything there was to do with her, and to me, she had enough work and I was confident she would be fit for the Derby.”
Immediately after the race connections confirmed that the triple Group 1 winner would be retired to Australia and be mated with Sebring.
Better Life was sold by Suzuka Racing Stable for $150,000 from the draft of Torryburn Stud at the 2010 Inglis Easter yearling sale. In addition to the Derby, she won the G1 Kranji Mile (1600m) and G1 Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) on her way to being crowned Singapore’s Champion Miler and Champion Stayer last year.
Sunday’s win was Hideyuki Takaoka’s second victory in the Singapore Derby having claimed the race in 2009 with Jolie’s Shinju. “The first time is always exciting, but winning a second Derby is also a great source of happiness,” he said. “Both are champion mares, although they are so different.
“Jolie’s Shinju went at the same speed and had so much stamina. Better Life sits off the pace and has a finishing burst.”
Better Life’s dam Quiet Life was imported to Australia in August 2007 carrying the Singapore Derby winner. The mare had been covered to southern hemisphere time by 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones (Elusive Quality) at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky.
Smarty Jones was relocated to Ghost Ridge Farms in Pennsilvania two years ago.